Ulster Rugby 2017-18

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Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by geoff999rugby on Thu 12 Oct 2017, 2:35 pm

First topic message reminder :

Rory Best (hamstring)
Marcell Coetzee (knee)
Craig Gilroy (back)
Chris Henry (larynx)
Rob Lyttle (shoulder)
Al O'Connor (concussion)
Jared Payne (headaches)
Dave Shanahan (hamstring)
Nick Timoney (ankle)
Schalk van der Merwe (shoulder)

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by Redman on Mon 30 Oct 2017, 2:57 am

I agree with most of the sentiments here. I thought Carins looked a bit out of his depth and Stewart seemed to steady the ship a bit better.

But let's target the criticism where it's deserved. You can't fault players who try. It's management, who for some reason seem to persist with players that just won't make it. What we need to ask is why are we playing Cairns ahead of Stewart in the first place?

Cairns is 25.

He's a 7s player who's played most of games at wing.

Let that sink in. 20 + 5. Now I'm all for any player having a pathway upwards, we got McCloskey from that route (spotted at 21) but come on .......... 25. It's the same logic that sees us waste a couple of caps on Mulholland 2 years ago when we could have given Matty Rea a shot at 22 rather than wait till making his debut at 24. Or why not have blooded Timoney at 19 rather than wait till he's 21. Per Wikipedia both seemed to be with us then.

Caps are experience and experience is a precious commodity.

Stewart plays Ireland U20. He's 19, there's a chance he may become a Pro14 player, maybe more. Can we say the same of Cairns? The weather was terrible but how much work is it going to take to get his passing upto Pro14 standard?

We need to wake up and plan for the future properly rather than just amble along.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by geoff999rugby on Mon 30 Oct 2017, 9:26 am

The Great Aukster wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
Still have to force myself to watch the recorded version but can't understand those criticising Cairns. He is fourth choice being forced to start in a massive derby for the first time. He looked to have plenty of potential from where I was sitting and although he made mistakes he wasn't afraid to try to play. He was pumped and that adrenaline undoubtedly was a factor.

At least he looked as though he cared.

He cares so what he should.
I care doesn't make me good enough to play 9 for Ulster.

Regardless of that caring wasn't the issue - if anything being too pumped up was the issue and making silly mistakes as a result was the issue.
Our player cared - the trouble was they played bloody crap, or in some cases weren't good enough, not that they didn't try

Cairns was picked by Gibbes/Peel over Stewart because they must have seen something about him. He has been getting good rep playing for Hinch in a league above Stewart (not Stewart's fault). One adrenalin charged game is simply too little to consign him to the scrapheap. Should Rory Best now be given the heave-ho because he had a shocker?




For the last two years the general opinion has been we have two very good 9's coming through - Stewart and O'Donnell.
O'Donnell has since been dropped because of a bust up with Campbell picard (Reminds me of losing Bealham because of that twunk Clarke)
Cairns has been playing wing as well as 9.
Seems very strange to pick a part time 9 over a full time 9.
I suspect it has something to do with Cairns being in the first XV training session - knows the systems and all that cowpat - remind you of anyone.

I am not consigning  him to the scrapheap - I am saying he had absolute mare and looked out of his depth on Friday.
If we are serious about him as a 9 he needs to stop playing games on the wing.
As Redman said a 7's play in his mid 20's who is a part time 9 - not a cv to suggest one for the future. (HE is closer to his 30th birthday than his 20th)

As an FYI Kiss picks the team not Gibbes/Peel


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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by geoff999rugby on Mon 30 Oct 2017, 9:30 am

neilthom7 wrote:There were much much bigger problems than the 2 young 9's, the complete inability of our forwards to get a lineout right being the biggest

Firstly I don't accept Stewart was a problem but on your broader point spot on - overall organization and poor skill sets were very worrying

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by rodders on Mon 30 Oct 2017, 9:53 am

The Great Aukster wrote:Really disappointing. Ulster had Best, Henderson and Henry as indigenous Ulstermen in the pack, all captains, yet there would have been more passion in a Buddhist retirement home after lights out.

Still have to force myself to watch the recorded version but can't understand those criticising Cairns. He is fourth choice being forced to start in a massive derby for the first time. He looked to have plenty of potential from where I was sitting and although he made mistakes he wasn't afraid to try to play. He was pumped and that adrenaline undoubtedly was a factor.

At least he looked as though he cared.

Agree I thought Cairns was one of the few positives.

Second week running a total capitulation in the second half, ulster are totally devoid of leadership and game management right now.

Any decent side watching will know to just play territory and let us run the ball out and we will be easy pickings.

The lineout was a disaster, 2 hookers and 2 second rows in the Irish squad and we could barely win any ball, it was embarrassing.

Jackson is badly missed, Lelifano is great on the front foot but we need more control to win tight games.

If you have no set piece or kicking game then you won't win anything no matter how good the back play is. I was stunned to listen to Best post match interview to see that the players have bought into Kiss nonsense game plan.
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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by geoff999rugby on Mon 30 Oct 2017, 10:20 am

You guys live on a different planet to me if you thing Cairns did ok

Specifically not telling others what to do (a 9 has to direct players - Stewart did this), 3 knock ons, an awful kick inside our 22 and a joke tackle for a Leinster try.


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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by marty2086 on Mon 30 Oct 2017, 10:21 am

rodders wrote:Second week running a total capitulation in the second half, ulster are totally devoid of leadership and game management right now.

Any decent side watching will know to just play territory and let us run the ball out and we will be easy pickings.

Jackson is badly missed, Lelifano is great on the front foot but we need more control to win tight games.

If you have no set piece or kicking game then you won't win anything no matter how good the back play is. I was stunned to listen to Best post match interview to see that the players have bought into Kiss nonsense game plan.

If we have a 10 who isn't willing or can't manage the game then we need to share that responsibility around the team but no one seems to be stepping up. Even with some of our clearance kicks it's Piutau doing it

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by geoff999rugby on Mon 30 Oct 2017, 10:45 am

Cooney would do some of that but as Neil said above about it not being just a 9 problem it also isn't just a 10 problem.

There are far more fundamental issues.

Do you remember getting results in the first 6 games or so last year and then the wheels falling off - this year is starting to have the same feel about it.

The next 3 games are must wins

Kings A
Treviso H
Dragons A

Lose one and we have no chance of a home SF, lose 2 and we will be fighting to qualify for Europe
After that we have a really nasty set of fixtures where any Away win will be a difficult task

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by rodders on Mon 30 Oct 2017, 10:46 am

geoff999rugby wrote:You guys live on a different planet to me if you thing Cairns did ok

Specifically not telling others what to do (a 9 has to direct players - Stewart did this), 3 knock ons, an awful kick inside our 22 and a joke tackle for a Leinster try.

I thought he was one of the better players and considering the woeful performances of his more senior colleagues I think he deserves some slack.


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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by Redman on Mon 30 Oct 2017, 11:50 am

rodders wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:You guys live on a different planet to me if you thing Cairns did ok

Specifically not telling others what to do (a 9 has to direct players - Stewart did this), 3 knock ons, an awful kick inside our 22 and a joke tackle for a Leinster try.

I thought he was one of the better players and considering the woeful performances of his more senior colleagues I think he deserves some slack.



He wasn't the worst player but his pass was very poor. Worse than Paul Marshall's on a bad day and it was really obvious watching it on TV. Leaving relative performance out of it and just looking at fundamentals is it worth spending say 2 seasons with him, slowing our backline down to get him upto where he needs to be or should we have just plumbed for Stewart from the start?

More generally I think we're focusing too much on Cairns individually here, none of this commentary is personal. We need to think about strategically developing players which we feel have a future.

We can argue that senior players were worse, yes many of them were. But being ruthless I ask does anyone think that Cairns will make it to 50 Ulster caps? Did anyone think Mulholland was going to hit 50 caps when he debuted over in Italy? Anyone? Cairns might, if he does then great but I prefer we were realistic with the talent we have. I'd like to see us do what Leinster do and invest in players like they have with Byrne, Carberry, Ringrose at an early age. Those lads have got structured gametime because Leinster believe they have a long term future with them. Each of those players have had some dreadful performances. Carberry especially but the investment in them is already paying off after a season or 2.

Every injury is an opportunity for a young player to make their mark but what we're doing is clogging up the development pathway with players who Clarke and Doak probably shafted 2-3 years ago. And we're going to do the same to Stewart and plenty of others who we're going to give chances to at 23-25 when we should have given them a shot at 19-21.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by marty2086 on Mon 30 Oct 2017, 12:04 pm

I think Ulster are addressing the problem but I think you are looking at least a decade before you get anywhere near a decent pay off. Leinster use their A team to set standards and culture and there are signs of Ulster doing that but I think ultimately we will fall short because I don't think we are breeding the right culture, there is a desire to win but all too often there seems to be an acceptance of defeat



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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by geoff999rugby on Mon 30 Oct 2017, 12:09 pm

rodders wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:You guys live on a different planet to me if you thing Cairns did ok

Specifically not telling others what to do (a 9 has to direct players - Stewart did this), 3 knock ons, an awful kick inside our 22 and a joke tackle for a Leinster try.

I thought he was one of the better players and considering the woeful performances of his more senior colleagues I think he deserves some slack.



No problem giving him slack - slightly bizarre the club are leading with an article about him getting his 1st cap when it was his 2nd Headscratch
What I cant agree on though is that he was one of the better players - just the reverse.
I also cannot see him as the future - a mid twenties, part time 9, playing his first game in the position is not going to be your number one 9 in the future

As Redman says, and as have I, there are wider issues around organisation and skill sets that are far more worrying.
We seem to play squad fillers in preference to players with some potential.
In the past - Mulholland, Cairns and we have another in the wings - Montgomery - what is the point ?
Our reluctance to play youngest is a real issue, we have lost some as a result.
Sometimes you have to gamble - some sink some swim

Take last year but for injuries to Rodney and Lutton Kane would have been nowhere near the first XV and would not now have a full contract
He would be in, at best, the Academy playing the off A game - either going elsewhere (Bealham, Carey anyone) or leaving the game.
We have a prop prospect waiting in the wings - O'Hagan - he should be on the bench in one of the next three games (at least)
I'll be very pleasantly surprised if he is

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by geoff999rugby on Mon 30 Oct 2017, 12:12 pm

marty2086 wrote:I think Ulster are addressing the problem but I think you are looking at least a decade before you get anywhere near a decent pay off. Leinster use their A team to set standards and culture and there are signs of Ulster doing that but I think ultimately we will fall short because I don't think we are breeding the right culture, there is a desire to win but all too often there seems to be an acceptance of defeat


We have a better skill level in the Academy than in previous years but we are addressing the problem ???

Not in my book.

It is a bit like being in a race where you can run a mile in 4 minutes - we are improving our time to 3mins 56secs
Trouble is the French and English have moved from 3 mins 58 secs to 3mins 45secs
They are leaving us behind.

As I have said before the model in Ireland is about to crack.
In 2/3 years time Munster as well as us will be nowhere near the top table of European rugby.




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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by marty2086 on Mon 30 Oct 2017, 4:08 pm

There's more than one problem with Ulster and the development setup. The changes don't go far enough, it still seems to be half measures because there are those who are dragging their feet.

It's not just improved skills we need, it's numbers of sufficient quality too. I think this year the academy has smaller numbers than recent years, that limits our chances of improving especially as our hands are tied with bringing players in from elsewhere. This year Leinster promoted 8 academy players to the senior squad, I think it was 7 in the previous two seasons and in that time guys like Tadhg Beirne have went elsewhere. Ulster this season promoted 6, David Busby, Aaron Cairns, Ross Kane, Rob Lyttle, Tommy O'Hagan and Jack Owens. 3 maybe 4 at a stretch will be around past a year or two if we are lucky. Leinster 8 are Max Deegan, Ross Byrne, Joey Carbery, Nick McCarthy, Rory O’Loughlin, Andrew Porter, James Ryan and Peadar Timmins. There's a good shout to be made for all 8 being around for years to come as Pro14 back ups and doing a decent job. This is why I say there are improvements and it will take time to see long term benefits but will fall short.

The surge in interest in rugby and Ulster Rugby will fade now with that will come a fall in fortunes because not enough has been done to grow the game across the province. You and many others are giving up their season tickets which will impact finances and that will impact sponsors etc too who won't want to spend money on a half empty stadium.



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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by geoff999rugby on Mon 30 Oct 2017, 4:42 pm

marty2086 wrote: Ulster this season promoted 6,  David Busby, Aaron Cairns, Ross Kane, Rob Lyttle, Tommy O'Hagan and Jack Owens.

Of those only half will make the grade in my book

marty2086 wrote: The surge in interest in rugby and Ulster Rugby will fade now with that will come a fall in fortunes because not enough has been done to grow the game across the province. You and many others are giving up their season tickets which will impact finances and that will impact sponsors etc too who won't want to spend money on a half empty stadium.

Interest is already fading, crowds down significantly on last year.
1000 less STs than the previous year.
Cannot sell out at home to Wasps in the European Cup or against Leinster
Personally I have seen more games than anybody I know - half a dozen home games (including friendlies) missed since 1999.
Certainly more than anyone at the club - past or present.

Just had enough of Ulster mismanagement and an Irish system which will only see us fall further behind



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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by marty2086 on Mon 30 Oct 2017, 4:44 pm

On a side note geoff, any word on us getting some backrow cover in?

If Deysel goes down along with Coetzee we're more fooked than we already are and we'll end up running the few backrows we have into the ground rather than giving some of the kids a go

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by marty2086 on Mon 30 Oct 2017, 4:52 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:
marty2086 wrote: Ulster this season promoted 6,  David Busby, Aaron Cairns, Ross Kane, Rob Lyttle, Tommy O'Hagan and Jack Owens.

Of those only half will make the grade in my book

That's why I said 4 at a stretch, we may keep a Busby or Owens as a break glass in case of emergency option then like you say O'Hagan may not get his opportunity

geoff999rugby wrote:
marty2086 wrote: The surge in interest in rugby and Ulster Rugby will fade now with that will come a fall in fortunes because not enough has been done to grow the game across the province. You and many others are giving up their season tickets which will impact finances and that will impact sponsors etc too who won't want to spend money on a half empty stadium.

Interest is already fading, crowds down significantly on last year.
1000 less STs than the previous year.
Cannot sell out at home to Wasps in the European Cup or against Leinster
Personally I have seen more games than anybody I know - half a dozen home games (including friendlies) missed since 1999.
Certainly more than anyone at the club - past or present.

Just had enough of Ulster mismanagement and an Irish system which will only see us fall further behind



Leinster ended up a sell out, our first of the season. In previous years the game was sold out a week ahead of time, this season the last tickets went late on Friday/early Saturday. In previous years most games were close to sell out but you can see the number of empty seats now when you are at the games.

Our only real hope at the minute is a jump in tv revenue from new deals and spending that wisely(which isn't likely) but with a lack of players coming through the academy, the lack of Irish players coming North and the limit on NIQ we are in trouble.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by Redman on Mon 30 Oct 2017, 6:05 pm

I think it's probably worth pointing out that we have seen a number of good decisions around player development this season.

Treadwell at 21 is now either our 2nd or 3rd lock.
Matty Rea has been given his chance
Nick Timoney looked an athletic option at 8 before picking up an injury.

These all appear to be delibrate decisions when we could defaulted back to players like Pete Browne or Clive Ross.

That's better than we have done previously but I just hope these aren't flash in the pan decisions just because a new coaching setup has come in and a few new players have caught the eye while more established players have fallen out of fashion. There needs to be actual development pathways for our youth because Ulster have been abysmal of late at converting youth talent into even Pro 14 quality, let alone ERC or even international standard players.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by Standulstermen on Mon 30 Oct 2017, 6:16 pm

There are definite positives to take out of some selections and indeed the clubs seem to be doing better which is good.

On Cairns, I thought he was ok but you can’t mention the knock ons without looking at the amount of ankle passes he threw. One lead directly to mcgraths first try.
Stewart to my mind doesn’t have the same zip in his pass but I’d like to see more.
One thing I would say is that we revert back to the Diacks of the squad while Matty Rea was playing for Ballymena in 1B this weekend. Similar to Geoff I am baffled by O,Hagans continued absence while we waste caps on Warwick. Black gets a bit of leeway for holding up the scrum.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by geoff999rugby on Mon 30 Oct 2017, 9:03 pm

No backrow cover coming in.
For me only the props and maybe Lyttle will make the grade - trouble is Lyttle is made of glass
Busby, Owens, Cairns are squad filler brought in by a fear that we could lose Olding, Payne, Cave, Piatau, Trimble and Bowe in the next 18 months and have no NIQ players to bring in. For me none of them are first XV material.

Redman makes a good point re young forwards playing - I believe this is Gibbes pushing their case.
Stand good point re the ankle level passing

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by Rory_Gallagher on Mon 30 Oct 2017, 9:40 pm

That list of players who may not feature for us in the next 18 months shows why Kiss and co. need to immediately blood the next generation in while they are still here. Their hand is going to be forced whether they like it or not - who is going to replace all of these players?

At the end of the day, we should prepare for the fact that we are going to have a squad of mostly average players. A good coach might make a team out of us, but as things stand...

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by marty2086 on Mon 30 Oct 2017, 9:46 pm

That's madness that we're not being any back row cover in, I see Wasps have just signed Nizaam Carr as injury cover in their back row.

Hopefully some of the young guys get a look in instead, if not I worry what will happen.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by Standulstermen on Mon 30 Oct 2017, 10:17 pm

I would prefer if Dunleavy and co were given this year with the A’s, then brought in for next season. Rea certainly should see games but he is mid 20s. O’Hagan is certainly old enough too. Ideally we shouldn’t be needing to take guys straight out of school and throw them in but....

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by geoff999rugby on Tue 31 Oct 2017, 9:27 am

Rea is 24

O'Hagan is 23 - but didn't start playing rugby till late teens
Dublin born by the way

I think the view, in Dublin, is you have Henry, Reidy, Deysel, Henderson, Diack, Timoney, Rea, Ross - you have the backrow covered

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by geoff999rugby on Tue 31 Oct 2017, 9:49 am

Someone on the other site, with no posting pedigree, says we have a NIQ player on the way.
My backrow information was correct at the time of Coetzee being written off for the season.
It could be out of date but I suspect it is more likely to be a replacement for Christian going home, following the fact that Jackson is going to stand trial and therefore will not play this season, and almost certainly forever, for Ulster.
Suggested the player coming from Japan which would fit.

So we have three possibilities:
1. I'm wrong we have a backrow player coming in
2. A replacement for Christian (temporary or permanent ?)
3. New poster talking Love sacks

I humbly suggest that they are in reverse order of likelihood

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by Redman on Tue 31 Oct 2017, 10:25 am

I got the sense the while Lealii'fano wasn't overly keen on coming here initially, that he has enjoyed it and I had thought he was at least thinking of staying. No insider info that, just an observation of the faffing around that happened when we were trying to sign him and subsequent interviews.

I suppose though, if they're now budgetting for Jackson being gone regardless then it's very much dependent on who is available and when to provide medium term cover. There's no point in signing if Lealii'fano until May only to miss out on a good NIQ 10 in January.

If we were replacing Coetzee I'd have expected we'd have signed the medical joker by now. We've known since the start of September haven't we?

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by clivemcl on Tue 31 Oct 2017, 10:30 am

The only non japanese out-halves in Japan worth mentioning are Elton Jantjies and Berrick Barnes. It looks like Jantjies is also contracted with SA Lions at same time.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by marty2086 on Tue 31 Oct 2017, 11:22 am

clivemcl wrote:The only non japanese out-halves in Japan worth mentioning are Elton Jantjies and Berrick Barnes. It looks like Jantjies is also contracted with SA Lions at same time.

Giteau?

Didn't Barnes move because his body couldn't handle the standards in Super Rugby? I remember him having concussion issues and a few other injuries

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by Redman on Tue 31 Oct 2017, 11:25 am

marty2086 wrote:
clivemcl wrote:The only non japanese out-halves in Japan worth mentioning are Elton Jantjies and Berrick Barnes. It looks like Jantjies is also contracted with SA Lions at same time.

Giteau?

Didn't Barnes move because his body couldn't handle the standards in Super Rugby? I remember him having concussion issues and a few other injuries

Great player for the kids coming through to learn from but at 35 he'd be a break the glass option I'd have thought. We kinda need someone to cover us for the next 2 years.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by marty2086 on Tue 31 Oct 2017, 11:36 am

Redman wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
clivemcl wrote:The only non japanese out-halves in Japan worth mentioning are Elton Jantjies and Berrick Barnes. It looks like Jantjies is also contracted with SA Lions at same time.

Giteau?

Didn't Barnes move because his body couldn't handle the standards in Super Rugby? I remember him having concussion issues and a few other injuries

Great player for the kids coming through to learn from but at 35 he'd be a break the glass option I'd have thought.  We kinda need someone to cover us for the next 2 years.  

Depends on if the signing is short term or long term

Think he was another one who had a few injury problems before going to Japan

Is Cronje rejoining the Kings after the Japanese season is over? May not be a bad option

Should be pointed out that we wouldn't be in this position if we had been allowed to keep Pienaar Rolling Eyes

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by Pete330v2 on Tue 31 Oct 2017, 12:00 pm

"Should be pointed out that we wouldn't be in this position if we had been allowed to keep Pienaar"

That pops into my head every time I think of our current clusterballix of a situation.

Is Stephen Donald still playing ITM and out of contract? He had been looking for a couple of years at a decent salary only a few months back. Is he still in that position I wonder? Anyone? Smile

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by marty2086 on Tue 31 Oct 2017, 12:21 pm

Neil Best wrote:
Progress lies not in enhancing what is, but in advancing towards what will be.
This was a match Ulster started well, but just like the previous week in La Rochelle despite the start they gradually fell away. At times Ulster look like a talented amateur whose glass jaw and lack of big punch has them quickly found out when they turn pro.

The Ulster lineout was a real pre-Halloween horror show that even a change at hooker did nothing to arrest. You could say had the lineout gone differently maybe Ulster would have been close enough to nick something -but ultimately the problem runs deeper.

The problem is that whilst some elements are improving, Ulster aren’t really making progress and they haven’t been for a few seasons. Sure, there are some genuinely talented players at Ulster, but there have been talented players over the past few seasons. And just as the scrum is clearly more competitive this season they are still a team that seem unable to dominate opponents up front.

Ulster’s Academy has produced Stockdale and Rea but is not producing in the number or depth of the likes of Leinster who understandably show no shame with their embarrassment of riches.

The quality and contribution of the NIQ players continues to be on the slide, with the exception of Charles Piutau, who will not be there next season.

Christian Leallifano’s departure is being counted down in weeks rather than months. The second half in La Rochelle gave a flavour of how things might taste in early 2018 when he’s gone.

This all points to a failure in “off field” strategy. When Shane Logan took over as CEO in 2010 he literally promised world dominance. Whether that was naivety on his part I don’t know. But surely he must understand, that because he so clearly defined expectations, he would ultimately be judged by a failure to get anywhere close to meeting them.

Logan said, “Whatever plan we put together has to deliver Ulster being top of the pile in Ireland, Europe and indeed the world” -seven years on and none out of three. The closest Ulster came to the first two was in 2012 with a largely inherited setup which was then dismantled with Brian McLaughlin being shown the door.

His David Humphrey’s sourced replacement Mark Anscombe was shown the door after two years despite being consistently competitive both domestically and in Europe. What followed was their era of Logan’s own man Les Kiss. Firstly, on an interim basis, because he was so good we should hang around for him, and then permanently from 2015. His lack of success by the end pf 2017 culminated in the clear out of everyone but Les.

Logan’s success has been on the commercial side and community development side of Ulster Rugby, but this larger fan base will not be maintained by a team that isn’t winning enough -and quite possibly this growth was something that could have been achieved by countless others.

The hard truth is that Ulster are no closer to winning anything this season than any of the last few and if anything, they feel further away.

There are always those who will point to this loss being to a Leinster team on a roll coming off the back of a great win in Glasgow. But Ulster were controlled and beaten by a Leinster side, not “the” Leinster side. Such is the strength in depth now in Dublin that winning in Belfast is achievable without a whole host of big names.

As for Ulster, a lot now rests on this weekend’s trip to South Africa where they will be hosted by winless South Kings. The unlikely scenario of failure to get a result would put Ulster in a proper spin. But if as expected they win, Ulster have a run of winnable fixtures including Benetton, Harlequins, Dragons and Connaught right up to New Year and could easily go on a roll to lift the mood around Ravenhill.

And of course, it’s still possible Ulster could navigate a way through their European Pool as a well-placed runner up.

Overall however, the lack of forward power and overall depth will mean another trophyless season for Ulster -and without a change of strategy or better still change in strategists next season will bring continuity in mediocrity.

If you are not going to divorce the status quo, you will give birth to mediocrity

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by The Great Aukster on Tue 31 Oct 2017, 6:11 pm

Marty - where is this from?

I agree with most of what NB says, but disagree about "countless others" being able to achieve what Logan has done on the commercial front. If it were that easy why aren't these equally capable individuals at the other 20+ B&I clubs that Ulster have overtaken in the revenue charts?

The rugby problems aren't necessarily the strategists at Ulster but rather the strategists at the IRFU. It isn't Logan and Ulster:
- that enforce the NIQ player strategy with ridiculous rules
- that expect Ulster to recruit from other provinces when their players refuse to come
- that doesn't acknowledge the sectarian chill factor exclusive to Ulster
- that refuse to invest in a central 'finishing' academy
- that refuse to set up a closed elite league just below the provincial level
- that supports an unworkable number of AIL leagues
- that is inconsistent across the provinces when dealing with school's rugby

Ulster don't need a new strategist, just some new strategy from those holding the purse and tasked to provide it.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by geoff999rugby on Tue 31 Oct 2017, 7:49 pm

Boys on the plane to South Africa

John Andrew, Callum Black, Robbie Diack, Chris Henry, Wiehahn Herbst, Ross Kane, Adam McBurney, Alan O'Connor, Matty Rea, Sean Reidy, Clive Ross, Kieran Treadwell, Schalk van der Merwe, Andy Warwick (14)

Tommy Bowe, Darren Cave, John Cooney, Craig Gilroy, Christian Lealiifano, Louis Ludik, Luke Marshall, Peter Nelson, Charles Piutau, Jonny Stewart, Andrew Trimble (11)

So a LH and a back to lose out


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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by neilthom7 on Tue 31 Oct 2017, 8:49 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:Marty - where is this from?

I agree with most of what NB says, but disagree about "countless others" being able to achieve what Logan has done on the commercial front. If it were that easy why aren't these equally capable individuals at the other 20+ B&I clubs that Ulster have overtaken in the revenue charts?

The rugby problems aren't necessarily the strategists at Ulster but rather the strategists at the IRFU. It isn't Logan and Ulster:
- that enforce the NIQ player strategy with ridiculous rules
- that expect Ulster to recruit from other provinces when their players refuse to come
- that doesn't acknowledge the sectarian chill factor exclusive to Ulster
- that refuse to invest in a central 'finishing' academy
- that refuse to set up a closed elite league just below the provincial level
- that supports an unworkable number of AIL leagues
- that is inconsistent across the provinces when dealing with school's rugby

Ulster don't need a new strategist, just some new strategy from those holding the purse and tasked to provide it.

Very true, there are problems with the IRFU management for sure. However
-The NIQ strategy is same for all teams, it is Ulsters fault they recruit injury prone or badly
-There is no need for a central finishing academy if Ulster would promote the players when they should be rather than hanging on to the Roger wilson for literally years after they should be finished. Leinster manage perfectly.
-Ulster have the choice of where there players go to and how many AIL teams they play for, it seems to work Okay for the other provinces, Ulster can force their players into one team if they wish.
- Schools rugby is very much Ulster's problem, they are in control of schools rugby over here, they need to step up and do what is right for Ulster.

Plenty of problems caused by IRFU for sure but Ulster's management have to take a lot of responsibility as well.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by clivemcl on Tue 31 Oct 2017, 10:18 pm

So are Best AND Herring both away with Ireland. Kind of ironic that they are jet setting off to a 'higher level' of rugby after our lineout shambles. Saves Kiss having to consider leaving them out of squad. Big opportunity for Andrew and McBurney.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by geoff999rugby on Wed 01 Nov 2017, 9:10 am

regarding Logan just read this

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/sport/rugby/les-kiss-will-be-worth-the-wait-says-ulster-rugbys-shane-logan-30982001.html

it is utter cowpat from start to finish.
My problem with the man is he has no feel for the game and it shows.
I also have problems with anyone who is seen everywhere, giving it large, when things are going well but becomes more
elusive than the Scarlet Pimpernel when things go pear shaped.
Classic weak management


Last edited by geoff999rugby on Wed 01 Nov 2017, 9:18 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by geoff999rugby on Wed 01 Nov 2017, 9:11 am

Also checked on tickets for Leinster.
It was not a sell out, a few hundred short.

Sign of the times

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by marty2086 on Wed 01 Nov 2017, 9:46 am

The Great Aukster wrote:Marty - where is this from?

I agree with most of what NB says, but disagree about "countless others" being able to achieve what Logan has done on the commercial front. If it were that easy why aren't these equally capable individuals at the other 20+ B&I clubs that Ulster have overtaken in the revenue charts?

The rugby problems aren't necessarily the strategists at Ulster but rather the strategists at the IRFU. It isn't Logan and Ulster:
- that enforce the NIQ player strategy with ridiculous rules
- that expect Ulster to recruit from other provinces when their players refuse to come
- that doesn't acknowledge the sectarian chill factor exclusive to Ulster
- that refuse to invest in a central 'finishing' academy
- that refuse to set up a closed elite league just below the provincial level
- that supports an unworkable number of AIL leagues
- that is inconsistent across the provinces when dealing with school's rugby

Ulster don't need a new strategist, just some new strategy from those holding the purse and tasked to provide it.

Its from his LinkedIn page, few people were sharing it on Twitter

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by marty2086 on Wed 01 Nov 2017, 9:48 am

geoff999rugby wrote:Also checked on tickets for Leinster.
It was not a sell out, a few hundred short.

Sign of the times

Strange one that, I checked about 2 hours before kick off and ticketmaster were saying there were no tickets left.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by Pete330v2 on Wed 01 Nov 2017, 10:17 am

When Logan was being put on a pedestal for his commercial achievements I had pointed out on here that it was hardly an achievement when selling the Ulster brand at the time was like selling ice cold beer in Alex'.
NB claims that countless others could have achieved the same and I agree, anyone with even a touch of business acumen could have sold the Ulster brand when we were on the crest of a wave. Every man and his dog had season tickets. I personally know a half a dozen guys who had zero interest in rugby that were ST holders and never missed a match with their families. Needless to say not one of them even discuss rugby any more, they care only for the Man Utds and Arsenals of this world.
The brand is creaking, the bandwagon jumpers are gone and even the lifelong fans are losing interest in walking through the gates of the 'Kingspan'.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by geoff999rugby on Wed 01 Nov 2017, 10:28 am

marty2086 wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:Also checked on tickets for Leinster.
It was not a sell out, a few hundred short.

Sign of the times

Strange one that, I checked about 2 hours before kick off and ticketmaster were saying there were no tickets left.

I think, but don't know, that for sporting events Ticketmaster pull the plug a couple of hours before the event.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by geoff999rugby on Wed 01 Nov 2017, 10:34 am

The one thing I will say for Logan is he smoothed the way for the ground development.

Now to be fair he was pushing at a open door with the executive on that one (do you youngsters remember what an executive is laughing )

Finances are taking a downward turn - we don't have much money for future new signings.
Some big cuts needed to create some cash flow - no Piatau, cutting Tommys wages in half, why we should cut Coetzee lose.
All will help

I would expect a number of sponsors not to renew - Kingspan for example (although that is some way off)
THe court case hasn't done us any favours in this regard (One reason, of many, why they will never play again for Ulster regardless)

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by marty2086 on Wed 01 Nov 2017, 10:38 am

geoff999rugby wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:Also checked on tickets for Leinster.
It was not a sell out, a few hundred short.

Sign of the times

Strange one that, I checked about 2 hours before kick off and ticketmaster were saying there were no tickets left.

I think, but don't know, that for sporting events Ticketmaster pull the plug a couple of hours before the event.

I know Ulster were advertising a sell out on Thursday or Friday but there were tickets left but I checked a few times on Saturday and there were none left.

There were only about 40 more at last seasons fixture and last seasons Munster game had two less in attendance

I know organisations fudge the figures sometimes and include staff etc in the building because they are in attendance

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by marty2086 on Wed 01 Nov 2017, 10:42 am

geoff999rugby wrote:The one thing I will say for Logan is he smoothed the way for the ground development.

Now to be fair he was pushing at a open door with the executive on that one (do you youngsters remember what an executive is laughing )

Finances are taking a downward turn - we don't have much money for future new signings.
Some big cuts needed to create some cash flow - no Piatau, cutting Tommys wages in half, why we should cut Coetzee lose.
All will help

I would expect a number of sponsors not to renew - Kingspan for example (although that is some way off)
THe court case hasn't done us any favours in this regard (One reason, of many, why they will never play again for Ulster regardless)

Tommys on a central contract though is he not? So he would be an added expense for Ulster

Regarding the court case, you have said that even if found not guilty they are gone. Is this a case of the details will tarnish the image in a high profile way and as you say will impact the revenue streams so that has to be protected? I ask because it would seem to be a double standard compared to Wilson and Herron who broke the law yet were kept around

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by clivemcl on Wed 01 Nov 2017, 11:10 am

Why oh why did nobody sort Jackson out and give him guidance after the black face incident. You would have thought the media coverage of that would have been enough to make a young guy think 'oh yea I maybe need to be a bit more sensible with how I conduct myself.'

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by geoff999rugby on Wed 01 Nov 2017, 11:57 am

Clive in a word he is, to say the least, arrogant and too important to listen to advice

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by geoff999rugby on Wed 01 Nov 2017, 12:01 pm

You are right Tommy is on a central contract but my understanding our overall central contracts next year will be as high as this

Regarding court cases - drink driving, whilst serious, is not equitable with r***.
Jackson is a very high profile player and Olding is/was a current international
Wilson left under a cloud in 2008 and when he was found guilty a few years back was not a high profile player
Herron in player terms is a nobody.

The reality is the nature of the crime and the profile of the players make the current situation very different.
Sponsors don't like controversy - the Anscombe and the Doak/Clarke dirty washing in public have not help either.
A failing provinces with the whiff of incompetence and controversy around it does not attract sponsors

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by marty2086 on Wed 01 Nov 2017, 12:18 pm

That's why I asked about if they were found not guilty, the others were guilty. Made me wonder if it was a morality issue because of the nature of the allegations more than just a bad PR problem.


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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by geoff999rugby on Wed 01 Nov 2017, 12:26 pm

I think it is both - the club have sponsor pulling back because of the issue - so a simple PR/financial implication.
However having said that there are many in the club who will be happy to see them go regardless - Jackson is certainly not the most popular player in the club.
The reality is NI is a small place and I cant see them wanting to live here regardless.
Also, from what I have heard, they 'may well/probably will' get off, but it will be messy and will not look like a couple of innocents unjustly accused (Chad Evans comes to mind)

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by The Great Aukster on Wed 01 Nov 2017, 7:45 pm

"Clive in a word he is, to say the least, arrogant and too important to listen to advice"
I've met him a few times and that hasn't t been my experience. OTOH I've never been on a pub crawl with him like he was that night. Sexton and Farrell (Owen) also get called arrogant but off the pitch are true gentlemen.
There is a drinking culture gathering pace at Ulster not dissimilar to that tolerated by McCall and arguably led to his downfall. If Ulster have learned from those hard lessons Jackson and Olding may have already played their last game for Ulster.

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